How we met
12 years ago a lady came to Gauteng in search of her fame and fortune. I still remember the day when she walked into our offices. She was dressed in a cream business suit long black hair, skinny legs and smelled very nice. She had a small Nokia phone, cream in colour that complimented her outfit. One day we had a conversation and I called her woman. She looked at me and said…my name is not woman…its Shirley. I always thought of her as the perfume queen and later she told me that she referred to me as the grumpy old man. We worked on various forensic investigation assignments in Africa and Europe and became friends. We also learned that we can work well together as a team and that we can look out for each other. Shirley left us in 2007 to join KPMG. In 2008, we met again under very difficult life changing circumstances. We became close and our relationship developed into a romantic fantasy. We got engaged on 9 March 2012 and the rest is history.
He forgot to mention that he was tempted to sell me off to the Nigerians when we landed in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m hoping he wasn’t serious! Well, he is too good a person for stuff like that. My first impression of the man, destined to be my soulmate and best friend eventually, was not that good. I gradually got to know him as I worked with him that he was actually a nice guy, funny, very intelligent, world wise, very broad general knowledge and spontaneous! I always have respect for intelligence and people that I can learn from. And I learnt so much from him even to this day.
When we later became close, I felt like I knew him all of my life. God has brought together two people from totally vast backgrounds, cultures and pasts and it didn’t feel like it. Strange things happened so our paths could meet again and we would develop a love that is eternal, unconditional and passionate. It’s like the whole Universe, the Galaxies and Heavens conspired to bring us together! And here we are today…together as one heartbeat!
Weeks leading to wedding day
In the last few weeks our jobs got very demanding…Shirley’s even more so. She would still do her research on the wedding at night, responding to service providers and making sure that everything was to her satisfaction. She did all of this after she had finished the work she brought home and preparing for the next day. I had the less stressful part…cooking for the team, now my family.
Bouts’ support around the house….cooking, cleaning and maintaining the garden and cars meant the world to me. I couldn’t possibly do that as well. The last few weeks were really consumed by the wedding plans and making sure we had everything in place. Our weekends were already planned with wedding stuff. I could not operate without making lists on my mobile of what needed to be done! My clients also demanded their share of my time and I burned the hours to make sure my work commitments were met before going on leave.
I never realised that so much work goes into planning a wedding, let alone doing it from another province! We were still doing the last round of meetings with our wedding planner, MC/DJ and priest a day before our big day! I remember that the very last “chore” the day before was to buy the cake knife and walking shoes for our trip to Phuket for our honeymoon. After that I told myself…this is it! Tomorrow all the months and months of planning can come together or fall apart – more than this I couldn’t do.
Bouts didn’t always understand why I was on my tablet late at night…after attending to work I brought home. He was very patient and supportive and we did the running around together but I think it got a bit too much for him especially towards the last few weeks before our wedding. This caused some tension between us at times but I know that in retrospect he appreciates all the effort because our wedding day was so beautiful and everything went according to plan…our dream wedding!
What can I say? It was the longest day of my life. I got a bit nervous when it was time to leave the room and walk towards the spot where I had to wait and start my final walk with my best man. We were very worried about the weather as rain was predicted. Some guests were late which was not good for the waiting.
When I walked into the gazebo in the garden where the ceremony was to take place, everything became blurry…I think it was a sensation overload and the realisation that we made our dream became true. I was emotional when I heard Shirley’s entry song and could not believe my eyes when saw her…my world stood still.
I woke up that special morning thinking this is the day I marry the man of my dreams. I looked out to the sea and the beach – the sun was shining! I said thank you Lord!
My make-up artist, Sharona-Lisa came at 10am. She was brilliant, working on me like a piece of art! I kept looking at the weather as it was gradually changing and I was aware of the prediction of rain – I so wanted our ceremony to be out in the garden as planned and not indoors! I prayed and prayed.
As the time got closer to the start of the ceremony, I was so anxious – a field of butterflies in my tummy – I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was ready on time just for the record! Ginny my wedding planner told me to stay put in my room until she fetches me. Then the big moment came when I had to walk to the entrance of the isle with my son, Blane who was “giving me away”. It was very windy and the clouds were looming over threatening to burst at any moment. Then my song started to play….Celine Dion “I knew I loved you”. I just wanted to cry. Blane said to me repeatedly “Mummy, tears later, tears later.” My maid of honour (my eldest sister) Mali walked down first, then Blane and I. My mouth was quivering trying not to cry. Then I saw him…waiting at the altar all handsome and royal in his Indian Sherwani bridal outfit! We made eye contact and I knew he wanted to tear but was also holding back. I only saw love and adoration on his face and my heart sank. The man of my dreams, my soulmate, my lover, my best friend…my heartbeat!
The ceremony was beautiful. Everyone laughed when my eager husband wanted to kiss me before being prompted by the priest!
The Lord and His angels were smiling on us that day. It rained only after the ceremony and photo shoot!
The reception was just an extension of absolute splendour and beauty. We felt like royalty that day. The guests loved us and we loved them. The hotel staff, the service, Ginny, our MC – Luan de Beer and his sound engineer Mark, Jules our photographer and Michael (to confirm name) our videographer were spectacular to say the least!
What a night after a momentous glorious day! We danced, we chatted and we ate delectable foods! But then there was more…Ginny informed us that the hotel had upgraded us to the Presidential Suite – the ultimate place to be in at the Oysterbox at R50k per night if you want to stay there! We were in heaven when we saw the place. Unbelievably exquisite. Fit for royalty! Our wedding day was a day full of miracles, beauty and wonder…a great beginning to a journey of love, passion and companionship.
SPs we enjoyed
Our suppliers…now our friends made our wedding the fairytale it was. They worked as a team…complementing each other, without knowing each other.
All our service providers were nothing short of professional, artistic, brilliant and worth every cent we paid! I think we owe our selection of service providers to our beautiful Ginny who undoubtedly has very high quality standards! Thank you, Ginny.
We send our love and appreciation to the following service providers in no particular order:
Oysterbox Hotel – the perfect wedding venue for a magical fairytale wedding! And the food – divine! Thank you to the Management who made the ultimate call to put us in the Presidential Suite – we will forever be grateful to you all. This is the stuff dreams are made off.
Ginny Eslick – our wedding planner. A stickler for order, promptness, perfection and quality service! You gave us great comfort that all will go as planned especially since we were planning a wedding from another province!
Kobus and Adri Niemann (Desflowers) – excellent decor and what a unique beautiful cake! Kobus has such a natural flamboyance for beautiful things with his unrestricted artistic creativity and unlimited ideas.
Luan de Beer Entertainment – our MC and DJ – talented, funny, professional and ladies he pays the sax! And he’s single (I think)!
Mark (the man) – sound engineer – off-course everything is about timing! You made it happen!
Jules from (O’ Toole Photography) – superb photography and videography. Jules you were awesome and you bring out the sexy in a woman!
Sharona-Lisa Salon and Bridal Artists – my oh so lovely make-up and bridal artist! You exceeded my expectations. You turned me into a work of art! Having a baby that’s 8 weeks old and going out on a limb for me….that’s dedication and commitment! Everyone said I looked like a Bollywood bride – need I say more?
Amanda Ross (CrystalPrintSA) – for the wedding stationery (menus, seating plan and hymn cards) – you got everything perfect the first time round. My review of the samples had no changes – excellence beyond!
SK Boutique and Leela’s in Lenasia – for our beautiful bridal outfits and jewellery!
Blane Naidoo (our son) – for developing our wedding website! You are brilliant! Nothing is too challenging for you!
The Chocolate Tier (Honeydew) – for their exquisite wedding favours and prompt and excellent service!
Last but not in the least, our charming and humorous yet witty priest, Rev Clive Jacobson, for making our special day so meaningful and special!
God bless you all. Love you all!